Start – Devin Booker
The ascension of Booker is almost complete, and getting the nod to start here only accelerates the coronation. Former center Tyson Chandler could see Booker was destined for greatness right from the jump during his rookie season. In only eight seasons, he has played over half the games (530) that Durant has amassed.
Booker isn’t super durable, but he’s also remained healthy when it has really mattered for the organization. The 2022-23 postseason felt like another step in his evolution as well, as Booker averaged a playoff high 33.7 points per game. His performances against the eventual champion Denver Nuggets inspirational in helping them take a pair of games.
Booker is obviously an elite scorer, but defensively he may even be underrated at this point. The Suns ranked seventh in defensive rating last season (112.3), and although that has as much to do with players like Mikal Bridges before they were traded, Booker most certainly played his part.
The Suns were only marginally worse (113.4) when Booker was on the court, and the smart money would be on him recognizing he will need to be more dialled in on that end this coming season if he wants to lead the franchise to a first ever NBA championship.
Other than being “Mr. Suns”, Booker also has something going for him that neither Durant or Beal can boast. He can be a legitimate point guard when required, and the “Point-Booker” movement is already in full swing. He also gives the organization superteam insurance as well, in the process edging out Durant here in a razor-thin decision to be the starter in this exercise.